Thursday, December 27, 2012

Part One: Who is satisfied? What's reality?

No this isn't some philosophical treatise on the existential nature of man...

In the WAC, is there any team's fan base that is satisfied with the play of his or hers team to date? It sure doesn't seem like it, even at the top. The expectations are for more, this often despite rosters indicating (or dictating) talent-to-wins (and losses) ratios that looks appropriate.

Utah State stands 9-1 although aided primarily with home games. It's still an on-going learning curve process as Coach Stew Morrill is blending a lot of the new with the old this season but a single loss to St. Mary's is not indicative of any concern. However, if Morrill had lost to BYU (in a matchup postponed) then the hounds of hell would have been unleashed minus any sense of circumstance (just because it's BYU).

USU has to be considered the conference fave dispite any bleatings from Morrill that such a pronouncement would surely bring. Okease tell PTW which other roster in the WAC would he want?


Of all the fan bases, Louisiana Tech's seems the happiest at 9-3. Yes, victories against Northwestern State and McNeese State would have clinched 100% adoration and probably a statue on campus for Coach Mike White but both games were on the road and one loss was by just six points, the other by eight. The Bulldogs need near every cylinder working at 100% of capacity to emerge victorious each game and that's just an impossibility considering the human factor so nine wins at this point an achievement worthy of satisfaction.


UT Arlington stands at 5-3, with a nice win at North Texas but the other victories were expected as were losses to Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State.

Coach Scott Cross doesn't possess a handful of multi-talented or game in-game-out consistent players so he's riding whoever has the hot hand(s) that night and successfully so for a squad last in the WAC in scoring at 62.1 point per contest and ninth in shooting.

Holding opponents to 35% shooting (best in the WAC) and 30% on threes (second in the WAC) is going a long way. Plus, the Mavericks are a plus 7.5 in rebounding and tops in steals at 9.8 per outing.

Will anyone from Arlington make the all-league team? Jordan Reves, maybe. Such is a solid indication that Cross' guys are fulfilling the whole being better than the sum of its parts dictum.


New Mexico State is 6-6 with a pair of losses to New Mexico vividly coloring the season so far but really, look at the roster. Big Wen is nowhere to be seen, Hernst Laroche is but a pleasant memory and Hamidu Rahman is no longer the starter in the middle. Replacing these longtime talents at a pronto pace is a short-term impossibility. 

As for the 2-12-13 roster, Daniel Mullings has stepped up his game and Sim Bhullar would be worshipped as a deity in Denver, Seattle and other locales even with his up-and-down season. 

Bandja Sy is who he is which is not a consistent points producer but more of a fourth option on offense and, granted, K. C. Ross-Miller hasn't been close to the reincarnation of Laroche and it's not appearing like he will be. Chili Nephawe is out with an injury but a step up from him is still awaiting postage prior to any delivery. So being at .500 resonates with New Mexico State's current talent/production level

Just look at which positions the Aggies are winning on game night? A drop down at this point is to be expected

The real question facing Coach Marvin Menzies is who on his roster besides Mullings and Bhullar has the latent potential to be step-up guys (the skills potential, the mind set plus the willingness to put in the necessary effort)?  

That will play out this season. Here's writing that a few more multi-skilled recruits are needed in order for the Aggies to finish at the top (combo scorers/passers, scorers/rebounders, rebounders/defenders) than currently reside in Las Cruces. Plus, it's hard to be successful when losing at the point position each time out.

PTW is re-posting Jason Grove's season-to-date summary.  

(to be continued tomorrow)

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